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Innovative companies start with innovative meetings

I love that this BusinessWeek article on the world's most innovative companies leads off with a description of a meeting:

    It was a fitting way to wrap up the first day of IBM's (IBM ) innovation-themed leadership forum, held in Rome in early April. Guests were treated to small group tours of the Vatican Museum, including Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. They sipped cocktails on a patio in the back of St. Peter's, the vast dome of the basilica outlined by the light of the moon. They dined in a marble-statue-filled hall inside the Vatican. What better place than Italy to hold a global confab on innovation, the topic di giorno among corporate leaders? It was, after all, the birthplace of the Renaissance, another period of great innovation and change.

As the article says, innovation is about a lot more than new products and new technologies. It's also about new ways of doing business—including new ways of doing meetings. The time is ripe, my friends, for meeting planners to showcase how what they do impacts what others in the organization do, and how innovation in meetings can lead to whole new field of endeavor, and profitability. The article talks about how meetings and incentives help spur innovation at companies including BMW, Southwest Airlines, Nokia, and 3M, among others.

Thanks to Joan Eisenstodt, leader of the MiForum listserv, for the pointer.

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